Look and Learn - the educational magazine for children
Those who were children in the 60s and 70s may remember 'Look and Learn', a British weekly educational magazine with beautiful colour illustrations and long-running space saga 'The Trigan Empire'.
Look and Learn was published by Fleetway Publications Ltd from 1962 until 1982. It covered a wide variety of topics from volcanoes to engineering to the Loch Ness Monster; stories from history or of famous people; adaptations of works of literature into comic-strip form, such as Lorna Doone; and serialised works of fiction such as H G Wells' The First Men in the Moon.
Many great illustrators worked on the magazine including Fortunino Matania, John Millar Watt, Peter Jackson, John Worsley, Patrick Nicolle, Ron Embleton, Gerry Embleton, C. L. Doughty, Wilf Hardy, Dan Escott, Angus McBride, Oliver Frey, James E. McConnell, Kenneth Lilly, Graham Coton, Ralph Bruce, R. B. Davis, Severino Baraldi and Clive Uptton.
Among other things, it featured the Pen-Friends pages, a popular section where readers could make new friends overseas.
Look and Learn was the brainchild of Leonard Matthews, the editorial director of juvenile publications at Fleetway Publications.
The magazine included a comic strip section. The most important strip was The Trigan Empire, a science fiction series written mainly by Mike Butterworth and most notably drawn by Don Lawrence, which first appeared in the magazine Ranger in September 1965. It transferred to Look and Learn in issue 232, June 1966 when the two titles merged, and ran there until the title ceased publication. It told the story of an alien culture - essentially Romans with space rockets.
Sales had, however, been declining throughout the 1970s, a decade which had seen the price of the paper rise from 7½ pence to 30 pence due to sharply increasing production costs. Price increases in the early 1980s added a further 10 pence to the weekly cost of the magazine and the editor had to admit that "we simply do not sell enough to meet the very heavy cost of producing a magazine of the quality of Look and Learn and we are therefore unable to continue publication."
Look and Learn folded with issue 1049, dated 17 April 1982. Copies are still readily available on ebay and several book compilations from the magazine have been published, especially of the Trigan Empire stories.
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